The "Coding for All" movement seeks to teach all students computer coding skills to promote problem solving skills and give students a head start on future computer careers. Proponents of this movement argue that coding is beneficial to all students because it teaches problem solving skills, computational thinking skills, and perseverance. They also believe that a larger and more diverse group of computer programmers will be needed in the future in order to meet the demands of the job market. The idea of implementing coding for all students does have some problems. There are logistical concerns with incorporating time for coding in schedules and providing enough equipment for instruction. Another issue is that there are few teachers trained to teach coding and computer science.
Why coding is important for kids to learn
Some sound background information for teachers.
Berbras Computational Thinking Challenge
Bebras is an international initiative whose goal is to promote computational thinking for teachers and students in Years 3 to 12, and is aligned with the new Digital Technologies Curriculum.
Code Camp World
Code Camp teaches children to code through holiday camps and after school classes. We are waiving our subscription fees for our online coding platform Code Camp World and are giving access to two awesome online coding tutorials.
Hour of Code
The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Anyone, anywhere can organize an Hour of Code event. One-hour tutorials are available in over 40 languages. No experience needed.
A website that helps you learn how to code.
Camp for code:
Library course teaches teens the basics of computer programming, robotics
CoderDojo has some great guidance and resources on how to start a more formalized coding club with designated coding mentors.
Learn how to do basic coding with the code monster.
Combines coding and gaming to show students how online games work. Great for absolute beginners.
This play-to-learn app is an engaging, eye-pleasing, and easy way for tweens, teens, and adults to learn the programming language Swift.
Popular games, big names get kids pumped to program in only an hour
Made with Code
Inspirational videos and fun projects to entice girls to start coding.
In addition to programming skills, Kodu cultivates creativity, problem solving, and storytelling. They have an education kit you can download to help you get started. The platform is geared towards a younger audience, but can provide an excellent introduction to programming for middle school-aged youths and even pre-teens.
Bootstrap teaches program design skills and applies algebra and geometry to video game design. The curriculum is free and aligned with Common Core standards for algebra. All course materials, including unit guides, workbooks, password-protected teacher materials, and the standards matrix are available free of charge.
Code Club World is another great resource for guidance on how to start your club, promote it, and keep it running smoothly. In addition, they provide teaching materials in an assortment of languages (here’s the English one). Their focus is on clubs for children aged 9-11, but their recommendations are pretty universally applicable.
Cost: $2 per student
GameStar Mechanic teaches kids, ages 7-14, to design their own video games. The site integrates critical thinking and problem-solving tasks. An app embedded within Edmodo makes logins easy for students.
Scratch is created for 8-to-16-year-olds. Students use a visual programming language made up of bricks that they drag to the workspace to animate sprites. Various types of bricks trigger loops, create variables, initiate interactivity, play sounds, and more. Teaching guides, communities and other resources available on the website will help instructors get started.
Cost: Free! (with Premium upgrade option)
The interface of Tynker looks similar to Scratch. But while Scratch was designed to program, Tynker was built to teach programming. The app features starter lesson plans, classroom management tools, and an online showcase of student-created programs. Lessons are self-paced and simple for students to follow without assistance.
Move the Turtle
Platform: iOS (iPad and iPod)
Move the Turtle provides a gamified way to learn programming procedures. Each new level of achievement increases in difficulty and teaches a new command that directs the turtle to reach a star, make a sound, draw a line, etc.
Hopscotch looks a lot like Scratch and Tynker and uses similar controls to drag blocks into a workspace, but it only runs on the iPad. The controls and characters are not as extensive as Scratch and Tynker, but Hopscotch is a great tool to begin helping students without coding experience learn the basics of programming, logical thinking and problem solving.
Daisy the Dinosaur
Daisy targets the youngest coders. The interface is similar to Hopscotch but much simpler. There is only a dinosaur to move and only basic functions to use, but for your younger students, this is an excellent introduction to programming.
Cargo-Bot is another game that teaches coding skills. On each level, the objective is to move colored crates from one place to another by programming a claw crane to move left or right, and drop or pick up.